99% of young people between 16 and 24 use social media for more than two hours every day, spending the most amount of time on social media than any other generation.

Social media is a rising popularity in teenagers and young adults with nearly the entire generation having at least one account on at least one social platform. It enables people to talk to friends and family that live anywhere in the world and helps connect people together. These platforms are great for communicating and meeting new people with the same interests as you, however they can also harbour harmful content such as trolls and cyberbullying. A study found 7 in 10 people aged between 13 and 22 have been a victim of cyberbullying. Of course, this doesn’t happen to everyone but that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen to anyone.

So, what does this have to do with social media changing the lives of young people?

Well, the answer is not as simple as you might’ve thought. Young people are mostly influenced by the things they see online- whether they are aware of it or not- and this can end up changing their views on life and how they see different problems facing them. For example, someone might post something and it might become a trend with others constantly joining in. While this has its benefits, it also has its negatives. There have been many bad and dangerous things being posted online that have afterwards been tried by young people which have led to horrific injuries and sometimes worse accidents.

Teenagers are spending a lot of time on social media these days. It opens their minds and connects them to the world- making them feel involved and in touch with all the latest news and trends. Nevertheless, social media can be so addictive for young people that it can even become their number 1 priority. People might have the need to prove how ‘perfect’ their life is and show how great they are compared to other people. But, in reality teenagers don’t need to do that. They shouldn’t feel like they have to prove themselves.

A research study by the ‘Pew Research Centre’ asked a variety of young people about social media and mixed responses were given: “It provides a fake image of someone’s life. It sometimes makes me feel that their life is perfect when it is not.”

“Teens would rather go scrolling on their phones instead of doing their homework, and it’s so easy to do so. It’s just a huge distraction.”

“I feel that social media can make people my age feel less lonely or alone. It creates a space where you can interact with people.”

“It has given many kids my age an outlet to express their opinions and emotions, and connect with people who feel the same way.”

This study just shows how diverse social media is and how it affects young people in different ways depending on experiences and expectations. Social media is a good way of connecting to people but can also be a very dangerous place to be in. As the younger generations continue evolving with technology it’s important to know how much of an impact social platforms can have on them.